Grand Rapids Nullifies FCC And State Compliance On 5G

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It is possible for cities to resist Federal overreach, especially when 5G presents serious citizen safety issues. Grand Rapids, Michigan barely scraped by a vote of 3-3, but it was a victory for city sovereignty.

Special Note: One week later, the city council took another vote and overturned their previous vote, having caved to threatened legal pressure from the state and the FCC. Whether lack of backbone or lack of funds to fight back, the result was the same – failure to protect citizens first. ⁃ TN Editor

Despite advice to the contrary, the Grand Rapids City Commission declined to adopt a proposed ordinance that would streamline the installation of “small cell” wireless infrastructure around the city.

In doing so Tuesday, June 4, the city is not expected to be in compliance with recent state and federal legislation by the June 9 deadline. The newly enacted laws, which limit a local government’s ability to regulate the installation of wireless infrastructure, are meant to “encourage 5G development.”

At the center of the issue is the installation of a dense network of small cell wireless utilities on telephone poles, traffic signals, signs and other similar structures in the public right-of-way. The infrastructure is part of the wireless industry’s shift to next-generation technology (5G).

Legislation by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in January (Act 365), and the state of Michigan in March, established regulations and fee limits for the installation of the small cell utilities.

The proposed ordinance would have put Grand Rapids in compliance with state law. It would have let the city be “as restrictive as possible under state law,” and allow staff to choose which kinds of small cell utilities could be installed to maintain the default design of the right-of-ways.

The ordinance failed Tuesday by a 3-3 vote. Commissioners Jon O’Connor, Senita Lenear and Ruth Kelly were in opposition, while Commissioner Nathaniel Moody was absent and thus didn’t vote.

Before Tuesday’s vote, the commission heard concerns from a dozen residents before voting. Most of those opposed to the ordinance are worried about the potential health risks associated with more wireless microwave radio-frequency radiation in the city as a result of this technology.

“Please help protect the health, safety, and welfare of the citizens of Grand Rapids by placing a moratorium on small cell tower installations in public right-of-ways until safe levels of non-ionizing wireless radiation are determined by independent research,” wrote Jeanine Susan Deal, director of the advocacy group Michigan for Safe Technology.

Commissioner Lenear said those concerns and a lack of knowledge by the commission caused her pause. She asked about the possibility of a moratorium, but was told by an attorney representing the city that such action was prohibited by the state law signed by then-Gov. Rick Snyder.

Read full story here…


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Joan Canning
Joan Canning

This is a very confusing article. When you go to “Read the full story here” you find that a few days after this vote to not comply with state and federal regs on small cells another vote was taken and compliance with the regs was adopted.

Patrick Wood

The ordinance failed and is expected to be presented to the city council again in the future. Until then, it stands failed and the council effectively rebelled against state and federal authority.

Correction to TN post: it was resubmitted and the vote reversed the original vote. Let’s hope citizens are regrouping.

Marilynne Martin
Marilynne Martin

No. Read the story and ckick through on the statement under the title that says UPDATE: Despite resident health concerns, city passes 5G cell antenna ordinance

The following week they passed the ordinance to be in compliance with state law and FCC rules.

Patrick Wood

Those dirty rats. This “update” was not there early this morning but now I understand why they added it here. (post updated here, by the way)